OSWEGO, NY – On Tuesday, the Common Council will review the mayor’s salary and consider the possibility of reinstating the position of mayoral assistant.
By March 15, the council must make a recommendation regarding the mayor’s salary for the coming year, according to Council President Ron Kaplewicz.
The current salary rate is good through the end of 2011.
“If there are going to be changes for 2012 when the new administration comes in, we have to start by March 15,” he said. “We want to bring this up for discussion; and, really that is all that it is at this point, just discussion.”
In the City Charter, Section C-4-01, states that the council shall review the mayor’s salary during each mayoral term and report its recommendation of any increase by March 15 of the last year of that term. No increase in salary shall take place during the incumbent’s term, except by local law.
Kaplewicz said he would like to offer whoever the new mayor might be a couple of options.
Number one would be to continue as is with the current salary and the mayor would be the city’s chief executive officer and deal with everything.
Plan B would re-establish the executive assistant as a full-time position in City Hall.
If that were the case, the mayor’s salary would be reduced.
“I think a full-time executive is something the city needs. We’re running a multi-million dollar corporation and need someone there every day,” Kaplewicz explained. “The department heads have issues that need attention every day; we need someone there to handle these situations.”
There are also times when people from out of town visit the Port City on business, he noted. If there were a full-time executive assistant at City Hall they would be able to accommodate the visitors any time, he added.
“There are decisions that need to be made every day. I think this would be a more efficient way to run city government. It would also allow the mayor to concentrate more on what needs to be done in the future instead of being bogged down with the day to day stuff; that’s also important but can be very time consuming,” he said.
The council needs to have “a healthy, open public discussion” regarding the matter, Kaplewicz said.
“I know budgets are tough,” he said. “We don’t need to increase our budget to accommodate the executive assistant’s salary. I believe we can rearrange some existing dollars in the budget to cover this so that there is burden on the taxpayer.”